Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sudha Bharadwaj walks out of jail after three years

Sudha Bharadwaj walks out of jail after three years

Prominent lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested over three years and three months ago in the Bhima Koregaon case under draconian UAPA walked out from Byculla women’s jail on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court allowed her release on provisional cash bail and a personal bond with directions to furnish sureties worth Rs 50,000 within three months.

The Supreme Court had two days ago rejected the National Investigation Agency’s plea to stay the default bail granted to her by the Bombay High Court on December 1.

 “We see no reason to interfere with the High Court order. Plea dismissed,” top court had said, clearing her release.

Bharadwaj was arrested on August 28, 2018, and was later placed under house arrest. She was then taken into custody on October 27, 2018.

As part of her bail conditions, the special NIA court had said that the she will have to submit her passport and stay in Mumbai. She has to seek permission from the court to leave city limits. She can’t interact with the media on the case, the special court had said.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case so far. In 2018, as part of a massive crackdown on human rights defenders in India, 9 prominent activists– Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, and Varavara Rao were arrested by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case. Two years later, the crackdown on human rights defenders continues with the arrests of Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Hany Babu, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, and Stan Swamy.

All are facing charges under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Varavara Rao had been granted bail on medical grounds in February.

Renowned tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, one of the accused in the case, died in custody in July after being repeatedly denied bail despite his frail health.

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